Michał Kalecki

Polish economist
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Michal Kalecki (June 22, 1899, in Łódź – April 18, 1970, in Warsaw) was a Polish Marxist economist who specialized in macroeconomics of a broadly-defined Keynesian sort. Over the course of his life, Kalecki worked at the London School of Economics, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and Warsaw School of Economics as well as an economic advisor to governments of Cuba, Israel, Mexico and India.

Michal Kalecki



Theory of Economic Dynamics (1965)

Originally published in 1954.
  • Generally speaking, changes in the prices of finished goods are "cost determined" while changes in the prices of raw materials inclusive of primary foodstuffs are "demand determined".
    • Chapter 1, Cost and Prices, p. 11
  • It should be noticed that the whole approach is in contradiction to generally accepted views.
    • Chapter 1, Cost and Prices, p. 17
  • We have found that the degree of monopoly is likely to increase somewhat during depressions.
    • Chapter 2, Distribution of National Income, p. 31
  • The capitalists of a country which manages to capture foreign markets from other countries are able to increase their profits at the expense of the capitalists of the other countries. Similarly, a colonial metropolis may achieve an export surplus through investment in its dependencies.
    • Chapter 3, The Determinants of Profits, p. 51
  • In a sense the budget deficit can be considered as an artificial export surplus.
    • Chapter 3, The Determinants of Profits, p. 51
  • In any case of the budget deficit the private sector of the economy receives more from government expenditure than it pays in taxes.
    • Chapter 3, The Determinants of Profits, p. 51
  • It is the export surplus and the budget deficit which enable the capitalists to make profits over and above their own purchases of goods and services.
    The connection between 'external' profits and imperialism is obvious.
    • Chapter 3, The Determinants of Profits, p. 52
  • Armaments and wars, usually financed by budget deficits, are also a source of this kind of profits.
    • Chapter 3, The Determinants of Profits, p. 52
  • [C]apitalist savings 'lead' profits. This result may appear paradoxical. 'Common sense' would suggest the opposite sequence—namely, that savings are determined by profits. This, how ever is not the case.
    • Chapter 4, Profits and Investments, p. 55
  • It is indeed paradoxical that, while the apologists of capitalism usually consider the 'price mechanism' to be the great advantage of the capitalist system, price flexibility proves to be a characteristic feature of the socialist economy.
    • Chapter 5, Determination of National Income and Consumption, p. 63
  • It has been frequently assumed that V is constant; and this indeed is the cornerstone of the quantity theory of money. But it seems fairly obvious that the velocity of circulation in fact depends on the short-term rate of interest.
    • Chapter 6, The Short Term Rate of Interest, p. 73
  • It should first be stated that a joint-stock company is not a 'brotherhood of shareholders' but is managed by a controlling group of big shareholders while the rest of the shareholders do not differ from holders of bonds with a flexible rate of interest.
    • Chapter 8, Entrepreneurial Capital and Investment, p. 93
  • The most important prerequisite for becoming an entrepreneur is the ownership of capital.
    • Chapter 8, Entrepreneurial Capital and Investment, p. 95
  • Thus, even with relatively heavy damping such shocks generate fairly regular cycles.
    The result is of considerable importance.
    • Chapter 13, The Business Cycle and Shocks, p. 142
  • It may thus be concluded that in the absence of 'development factors' the system lapses into a stationary state. These factors thus appear to be a prerequisite of a steady growth.
    • Chapter 14, The Process of Economic Development, p. 155
  • An increase in the number of paupers does not broaden the market.
    • Chapter 15, Development Factors, p. 161

Quotes about Kalecki

  • Keynes accepted capitalism, but without zeal or sanctimony. He was mainly concerned with assuring its immediate stability, not justifying it sub specie aeternitatis. This prevented him both from ever becoming an official ideologue of the status quo like so many economists, and from developing a deeper and longer dynamic perspective. His contemporary Kalecki, who unlike Keynes was familiar with the work of Marx, achieved some of the same countercyclical insights, albeit in fragmentary form, but saw the ulterior implications of them. By reinserting Keynesian categories into a rudimentary political economy, he was able to predict what he called the 'political trede-cycle', which has since become the principal economic contradiction of advanced capitalism: the conflict between full employment and stable prices.
    • Perry Anderson, English Questions (1992), Components of the National Culture
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